Everyone, in every neighborhood, should be able to grow up and live their lives feeling safe. Addressing the root causes of violence, like poverty and inequality, as well as helping survivors of violence heal, is crucial to creating a healthier and safer Boston. Improving public safety starts with creating better opportunities for people in Boston’s neighborhoods---through education, youth programs, job training, and community investment. Dismantling school-to-prison pipelines and increasing support for families dealing with trauma will help to end the cycles of violence that many communities have endured for far too long, particularly in Black and Brown communities. The COVID-19 crisis has caused emotional anguish and economic desperation for many people, leading to a spike in violent crime. That is why a robust recovery from COVID-19 must include support for survivors of trauma. All efforts to improve public safety must be developed through collaborative partnership between residents, youth groups, City government, law enforcement, the faith community, and especially, survivors of violence.
John got into public service as a teenager, after seeing how a lack of resources and a surge in violent crime was hurting his neighborhood in Roxbury. He witnessed the devastating impacts that the crack epidemic and the over-policing associated with the war on drugs had on his community. John dedicated himself from a very young age to fixing these issues by creating positive opportunities for people in his community, particularly young people.
John helped to develop innovative community programs to end violence and support residents coping with trauma in his community throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
He worked hand in hand with his neighbors to advocate for better community policing and criminal justice reform.
John worked with the Boston Police Reform Taskforce to develop comprehensive police reform measures that were adopted by Mayor Walsh in 2020.
As a Black man and the father of four young children, John cares deeply about ending the cycles of violence and trauma that too many Bostonians experience. He knows that creating safer neighborhoods must start with community investment and lifting people up through positive opportunities. As someone with many years of experience in economic development, John also knows that a strong, just, and inclusive economy is essential to ending crime and improving public safety.
As Mayor, John will:
Create working groups with residents in every neighborhood to look at the root causes of violence, and identify opportunities for targeted interventions.
Increase trauma supports available for survivors of violence.
Look at the disproportionate impact that violence has on people of color, immigrants, women, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, with an emphasis on improving supports for survivors of racial violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
Increase investment in the Office of Recovery Services in order to divert more people struggling with substance use disorder into treatment, and away from the criminal justice system.
Increase investment in the Office of Returning Citizens, to increase life skills and employment opportunities for people who are formerly incarcerated, and reduce recidivism.
Further diversify the Boston Police Department to make sure that it reflects the communities it serves, and further strengthen the BPD’s use-of-force policies.